Policeman injured in road rage attack 'yet to recover sensation in lower jaw'

A police officer who was beaten up by a martial arts practitioner in a road-rage attack last January is yet to regain normal sensation in his mouth, a court has been told

Christian Agius' nasal bone had also been broken, together with a finger on left hand
Christian Agius' nasal bone had also been broken, together with a finger on left hand

A police officer who was beaten up by a martial arts practitioner in a road-rage attack last January is yet to regain normal sensation in his mouth, four months on, a court has been told.

Court expert Dr Mario Scerri took the witness stand this morning in the compilation of evidence against Angel Attard, who is accused of grievously injuring off-duty police officer Christian Agius in a road rage assault outside the Paceville tunnels.

The off-duty officer had told the court that he had been going clothes shopping at Tigne with his girlfriend at the time. As he drove from Fgura to Tigne, he had passed through the tunnels to Paceville and had been tailgated by the accused, who later got out of his car and pummelled the other driver as he sat in his seat. In a previous sitting, Agius' girlfriend had told the court that the Attard had punched him for “around three minutes.”

Agius had told the doctor that he had been assaulted by the accused, Scerri recalled. As a result of the beating, Agius required stitches and suffered a permanent facial scar, as well as another permanent scar on the forehead, the doctor said. Agius' nasal bone had also been broken, together with a finger on left hand. The cause of the injuries was blunt trauma, he told magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech today. Agius remains unable to flex the finger completely, Scerri said, but explained that nine months must pass before the injury could be considered permanent.

Cross-examined by lawyer Amadeus Cachia, Scerri said that he had examined the victim a week after the assault.

The doctor who had treated Agius at the emergency department also testified. He confirmed that the man had suffered a laceration to his forehead, scratches to his face, bruising on his right eye, a broken nose and a broken finger. Agius had told him that he had been beaten up and the injuries had been compatible with this, the witness said.

A third doctor, who treated Agius on several occasions after the assault, said that although the man had normal jaw function, eating was painful and he was suffering from a lack of sensation in his lower jaw.

Attard is currently on bail, secured by a €10,000 deposit and a €10,000 personal guarantee, after an appeal was filed against repeated refusals to his bail requests by the Court of Magistrates. Judge Giovanni Grixti had upheld the appeal in January, after noting that all civilian witnesses had been heard and that there was no risk of the accused compromising the evidence.

Inspector Matthew Spagnol is prosecuting. Lawyers Franco Debono and Amadeus Cachia are appearing for the accused. Lawyer Arthur Azzopardi is appearing parte civile for Agius.

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